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Down But Not Out: How to Determine Your Microwave Hotspots

Microwaves are one of the greatest inventions of all time, making cooking more convenient for all ages. However, determining if your microwave has hotspots can be frustrating. I think we’ve all tried to microwave a piece of pizza, only to find that the crust is piping hot and the other end is lukewarm. Uneven heating is the result of hotspots that form due to the energy waves in microwaves. Realizing your microwave has hotspots can sometimes be a little tricky, but locating your microwave’s hotspots is fairly simple. Use any of the easy methods below to find them and get the most out of your microwave.

The Water Method

One of the simplest methods to find the hotspots in your microwave uses only two items: water and small bowls. Here’s how it works. Remove the rotating table from the microwave and place small bowls of equal amounts of water throughout the microwave. Microwave for 2-3 minutes. Every 30 seconds, pause the microwave to see which bowls of water are boiling. The bowls that boil first indicate the hottest parts of your microwave.

The Marshmallow Method

Even though no one wants hot spots in their microwave, the marshmallow method of detecting them is a pretty delicious option. For this method, first, remove the rotating table and place a few paper towels on the bottom of the microwave. Then place several mini marshmallows in a single layer covering an entire large plate on top of the paper towels. Microwave for anywhere from 30 seconds to two minutes, checking frequently either from the window or opening the door. The marshmallows that brown the quickest reveal the hottest spots in the microwave.

The Paper Method

Receipts and faxes use a special paper that is more sensitive to heat than typical copy paper. With this method, first, place damp paper towels along the bottom of the microwave. On top of the paper towels, place either old credit card receipts or fax paper all along the microwave. Microwave for three minutes, checking the papers every minute. The hotter the paper gets, the darker it turns. The dark spots that appear on the paper first are where the hot spots in the microwave are located. A word of warning that this method can be difficult to utilize when using smaller receipts, so having longer pieces will be more efficient.
Microwaves are inexpensive and require minimal upkeep. Hotspots develop naturally within microwaves and are hard to prevent. By determining your microwaves hotspot locations, you can maximize your microwave’s heating capacity when cooking. Doc’s Appliances has professionals on hand to help you determine if a microwave is malfunctioning and needs repair. Give us a call today at 800-726-7130.
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